Funeral protests would be banned

Legislation intended to clarify Michigan’s law banning protests at funerals is headed to Governor Rick Snyder.  The Legislature gave final approval to the bills this week with overwhelming bipartisan support.  The bills prohibit conduct, statements or gestures that would make a “reasonable person” attending the funeral or memorial service feel intimidated, threatened or harassed.  The bills could help clarify Michigan’s current law prohibiting funeral protests from 2006, sparked by protests at military funerals. A federal judge last year ruled that part of the law was vague, too broad and unconstitutional.  The case involved a couple pulled out of a soldier’s funeral procession and arrested in 2007 because signs in their van criticized President George W. Bush.  Charges were dropped and Clare County agreed to pay a settlement in the case.  (AP)

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